The action unfolds later tonight (Sat., May 12, 2018) at UFC 224 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as Amanda Nunes puts her UFC women’s bantamweight title on the line against proven veteran Raquel Pennington.
Prior to the women’s headliner, the main card will feature a co-main event clash between middleweight title contenders Ronaldo Souza and Kelvin Gastelum, a catchweight tilt pitting strawweight prospect Mackenzie Dern against Amanda Cooper, a bantamweight barn burner between John Lineker and Brian Kelleher, and a middleweight matchup pitting former UFC light heavyweight champions Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida against one another.
But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 224’s “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 6:15 p.m. ET and FX starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC 224 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Cezar Ferreira vs. Karl Roberson
In the FX “Prelims” headliner, Brazilian middleweight finisher Ferreira (13-6) tried to end the hype of former kickboxer and undefeated up-and-comer Roberson (6-1). Roberson overextended early and Ferreira secured a quick takedown. Ferreira worked off top. Roberson got back to his feet only to have the Brazilian snap him back down. Ferreira moved into full mount and started to land solid shots. “Mutante” then stepped over and locked down a tight arm triangle choke. Roberson didn’t tap. The referee had to come over and lift the middlweight’s limp arm before the fight was called.
Aleksei Oliynyk vs. Junior Albini
The lone heavyweight matchup of the evening saw elite grappling expert Oliynyk (53-11-1) try to get back into the win column when he met young Brazilian prospect Albini (14-4). Oliynyk closed the gap early, but Albini shook it off, landed a good shot, and opened up a small cut. During a clinch exchange, Oliynyk started to lock in an ezekiel choke and dropped to the canvas. Albini tried to defend but “Boa Constrictor” kept squeezing off his back until the Brazilian tapped.
Davi Ramos vs. Nick Hein
World-class submission specialist Ramos (8-2) made his return to the Octagon against German veteran Hein (14-3, 1 NC). Hein landed the first good shot with a left hook that knocked the Brazilian down. Ramos came back with a hard right hand down the pipe. The Brazilian followed that up with a takedown attempt. Hein defended nicely, but Ramos moved over and attempted a kimura. Hein powered through before Ramos latched on a body lock and went for the rear-naked choke. Hein tried to wiggle free but the Brazilian was simply too strong, forcing the German to tap.
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Sean Strickland
The opening FX bout featured Brazilian finisher dos Santos (19-5) going for his fifth-straight UFC win when he took on former King of the Cage middleweight champion Strickland (19-3). Both men came out firing, but Strickland’s size allowed him to pop dos Santos from the outside. Dos Santos tried to mix it up with a few head kicks. Strickland had success with a lead jab and then had enough time to lean back away from the counter. That was before dos Santos leveled Strickland with a spinning head kick. The Brazilian quickly jumped on a down Strickland and landed some follow-up shots before the referee stepped in for the stoppage.
Warlley Alves vs. Sultan Aliev
The Fight Pass preliminary headliner saw promising young welterweight contender Alves (12-2) test his chin against Russian knockout artist Aliev (14-3). Alves landed the first big shot of the fight, backing Aliev up along the cage as a result. The Brazilian followed that up with a big body kick. Alves scored hard knees inside during a clinch, too. Aliev fired back with a left hand before Alves clipped him with a right. In Round 2, Alves missed on a furious combination early. Aliev remained calm and collected before timing a counter over the top as Alves leaped in for a flying knee. The Brazilian tied Aliev up along the cage and landed some short rabbit punches. Aliev’s right eye really started to swell after all the inside exchanges. Alves landed a nice left hand followed by a knee inside before the bell. Before the third round even started, doctors were brought in to check out Aliev’s eye. The swelling, along with a nasty cut, was simply too much to ignore. The bout was called and Alves was awarded the second-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage) win.
Thales Leites vs. Jack Hermansson
The second of five middleweight showdowns pitted former UFC title challenger Leites (27-9) against Swedish striker Hermansson (17-4). Hermansson came out fast with kicks to the leg and body, as well as a nice lead jab. Leites tried to counter but Hermansson’s jerky movement made it difficult. Leites decided to close the gap and secured a takedown along the cage. Hermansson got back to his feet and hip tossed the Brazilian. The two middleweights battled along the cage before Hermansson landed another throw to land in top position. In Round 2, Leites landed a perfectly-timed right hand that stuck Hermansson. The Brazilian worked along the cage and secured a takedown, which visibly hurt Hermansson as he winced in pain. Hermansson seemed to have trouble with his ribs, but that didn’t stop Leites from stepping over into side control and threatening with a tight arm triangle choke. Hermansson defended with his hand to his head and somehow wiggled free. In Round 3, Hermansson unexpectedly came out with a flying knee before backing Leites up into the cage and going for a guillotine choke. Hermansson squeezed with everything, but he didn’t have proper position. Leites was able to switch it up and nearly locked in an anaconda choke, but Hermansson reversed positioning and gained top control. From there, “Joker” rained down heavy ground-and-pound before Leites couldn’t take anymore and the referee stepped in for the TKO stoppage.
Alberto Mina vs. Ramazan Emeev
In the first of three welterweight clashes on the card, undefeated Brazilian submission expert Mina (13-1) aimed to push his UFC win streak to four when he met talented Russian prospect Emeev (17-3). Emeev connected first with a huge lead right hand. Mina came back and caught the Russian on a counter inside. Emeev kept the pressure going and found a home for a combination. Mina tried a standing kimura attempt but was slammed on his head. The Brazilian went to the ground for a leg lock submission, but Emeev remained patient and turned himself out. In Round 2, Mina attacked early with some leg kicks. Emeev pushed through and secured another takedown. Mina got back to his feet and tried to mix it up with his hands, including a spinning back fist, but the Russian again gained top control and scored valuable ground-and-pound. The third and final frame saw Emeev land another lead right hand over the top. Mina remained on the outside of the pocket and didn’t do much offensively. Emeev trapped the Brazilian along the cage to the crowd’s dismay and found a home for a nice two-piece combo. The Russian continued to follow his efforts up with a lead right hand that Mina failed to adjust to. In the end, it was Emeev who did more than enough to walk away with the unanimous decision win.
Markus Perez vs. James Bochnovic
The opening bout of the evening saw Brazilian middleweight Perez (10-1) look to bounce back from a decision loss to Eryk Anders when he took on Wisconsin submission specialist Bochnovic (8-3). Bochnovic came out hot with a body kick before trapping Perez along the cage. Perez transitioned nicely and landed a slamming takedown. Bochnovic defended nicely for a bit before Perez was able to take his back and threaten with a rear-naked choke. A few regrips later and Perez was able to tap the American out.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 224 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
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